Latvia grants $1,700 to poor countries

The Latvian parliament has approved its budget for 2010. One of the expense articles implies aid to “poor countries”, on which the country has generously allocated less than $2,000.

The exact figure is 800 lats (around $1,700). online edition reports that the money will be spent on economic assistance to Moldova, Georgia, Belarus and Ukraine – where the authorities believe the situation is more difficult than in Latvia. It is not known, though, how the amount will be distributed between the countries.

In 2008, Latvia allocated 580,000 lats (around $1.24 million) on international cooperation, while this year the country spent 450,000 lats (around $960,000) for the same purpose.

Vladimir Kremlev for RT (click to enlarge)
Next year’s national budget, approved by two-thirds of the parliament, is the most difficult in the country’s history. With around $10 billion in revenues and almost $12 billion in expenses, the deficit will amount to 7.6 per cent.

The Latvian economy is suffering from the worst recession in the European Union. This has forced the government to take a series of unpopular measures, which have resulted in protests in Riga and across the country.